Nov 2, 2008

The Other Champion

90s was the decade of Sachin. Frankly, Indians hardly tried to maintain an equivalency between the batting and fielding side of its growing cricket fascination.  Kapil was famous in the early part of the decade but everyone understood that the main bowling weapon India had was kumble. I think the years 92-95 kumble was at this peak. I can remember ODIs where batsmen just played out kumble and kumble figures will be something like 10- 2- 29-2. Those were the days when reputed players like Andrew Hudson were afraid of kumble and new players like Richard blake’s reputation was destroyed.

The one bane of Kumble came was the South African players Cronje and Cullinan. They suddenly learned how to play kumble and then the reputation was destroyed by Aravinda, jayasurya, Mahanama etc.

As you must have hear, Anil Kumble has retired from international Cricket.  This has sort of more that anything started the drumbeat which should soon drwon out Dravid and Laxman. But all that for later. Lets focus on Kumble

Kumble  about 5-6 years to become the bowler he was in 2006 when I thought he was at the peak of his second coming. But this second coming was more the evidence of his grit and cricketing acumen. He fin ally developed a ball which actually spun…his googly which actually deviated from the pitch. This delivery more than anything else kumble to have his golden summer where he is past 600 wickets and captained India to wins, notably against aussies in perth.

From all this, what I want to arrive at is…Kumble was a world beater for around 7-8 years but unfortunately in India he was eclipsed by Batting starts such as Sachin Ganguly, Azhar etc while the world saw two better spinners in warne and murali which sort of made the title of this past “The other champion” rather than “the champion” which may have been the case in some other country or some other era